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Exclusive Interviews

Tuesday, 07/09/2013, 05:41 pm

EXCLUSIVE | Invicta President Shannon Knapp Talks Upcoming Invicta 6, Building a Successful MMA Promotion, and Anderson Silva’s Loss at UFC 162 | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| Our boys Denny and Anton over at BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio invited Invicta FC co-founder and president, Shannon Knapp, onto this week’s show.Knapp, who as of late has been receiving an abundance of praise from everyone in the MMA world, is currently preparing her company for its upcoming event, Invicta 6, which takes place this Saturday, July 13th. The event is being headlined by a featherweight title-fight between Cris Cyborg Santos and Marloes Coenen and every other fight on the card is projected to deliver fireworks as well. WMMA is rapidly increasing in popularity as of late and this card is a key example as to why. Knapp joined our boys on the show to discuss the upcoming event, how Invicta FC has built its name from scratch, and she also talked with the boys about the results of last weekend’s UFC 162. Here are some of the highlights from that interview with Miss Knapp:

 Shannon first talked about how her promotion has been able to put on explosive cards each time they put together a show. “It all boils down to the athletes and their performances,” she said. “They just keep showing up and delivering amazing fights and they’re making my job extremely easy.”

She also touched on how she has helped build Invicta from the ground up and how she’s really defied the odds with the promotion’s immediate success.

“When we first put the company together there were tons and tons of nay-sayers,” she explained. “It’s amazing to have been able to take something that was nothing and to build it up and provide the opportunity that we’ve been able to provide for the female athletes.”

Knapp was then asked how she continues to find such great talent that delivers great performances over and over again, considering the UFC only has one women’s weight class because they believe the talent level in WMMA right now is very thin. She replied, “There’s a ton of amazingly talented female athletes and they just have never had the opportunity to continue to grow, and to be able to be a part of that, being the game changer and helping them evolve in the sport.” She continued explaining, “It’s probably the most gratifying for me, is to be able to actually make a difference and see that difference.”

But she couldn’t take all the credit in finding these amazingly talented females fighters. Invicta has been rapidly growing and with the growth has come recognition and credibility.

“Most of the girls come to us at this point in time because this is the place they aspire to fight,” she explained. “It’s not as tough as what you think. And there’s a lot of talent out there.”

Invicta will be hosting their 6th event on Saturday night and so far each of their shows have been stacked with exciting fights, which ultimately makes choosing a Fight of the Night much more difficult for the Invicta Brass. Shannon, in discussing the topic, stated, “It does get complicated because they bring it.”

Shannon was then asked to comment on how they have managed to promote their fights to a large crowd of MMA fans with a limited budget, compared to the larger MMA promotion.

“We have to be creative and use whatever assets are available to us,” she replied. “Our athletes are also committed to promoting their fights and the organization.”

She explained that the fighters being committed to the brand and wanting to be a part of helping the company grow and evolve. She also credited a lot of the company’s growth to the social media aspects of promoting. She reminded the fans, “We built this brand on the internet.”

But she also made it a point to state that even with the recent success, the growth and battle are not over. She explained, “The fight is still out here, as well as in the cage.”

And she continued by stating that Saturday is a big step in the right direction for the promotion. She excitedly stated, “This will be the first all-female live PPV. So there’s a lot riding on each and every one of these athletes’ shoulders as well as the promotion’s.”

Knapp also said that a lot of what makes their company and fighters enjoyable to watch is that they are not like celebrity athletes yet. They’re relatable and hard working. “Our athletes are very accessible still,” she explained. “They’re excited that the fans are excited about them.”

She continued, “All the athletes that we have signed are very humble, very appreciative. They know that we’re in this together.”

“When you get girls that are coming in that are 2-0 and making their pro debuts and stuff like that…they’re excited to be here.”

Knapp touched on how important it was to spot the talented young women at a young point in their careers to build them into possible contenders and future stars. Finding contenders is muh more than just getting fighters with good records. “You have to constantly be thinking about building contenders,” Shannon stated. “We’re constantly thinking about that and looking at our options for who is next in line.”

The conversation then shifted to UFC 162’s aftermath. Anderson Silva lost his belt to Chris Weidman in the main event and Knapp was asked about what she thought of Anderson’s performance and what might have led to his defeat. She mentioned Matt Hughes’ run in the UFC WW division years back and then stated, “You can see it in an athlete. You can see that they kind of just get board. They lose that hunger for the fight. And I’ve noticed that about Anderson Silva for quite some time now.”

She explained that Anderson Silva has a lot of things to think about in life right now and many people don’t take the responsibilities of a champion into consideration. Anderson has a lot more to do than just train, show up, and fight. She stated that many fighter’s don’t understand this and explained, “Your job is to help promote that fight. Your job is to help build your market value.”

“I think that’s the other things that fighters often forget about,” she continued. “You have to plan for life after fighting.”

“I think he’s lost some interest in the fight game. I think he wants to challenge himself in other areas and other levels.”

But even in defeat Knapp said that he carried himself like a Champion. “I think he showed a lot of class and sportsmanship when he spoke after the fight,” she said. “I think he said it best; I think he’s tired.”

Shannon Knapp has helped Invicta skyrocket over the past year and Saturday night’s Invicta 6 on PPV is a perfect example of that. Rumors have circulated stating that Invicta was working on a deal with SHOWTIME. Knapp cleared the air during her interview on Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio.  “I’ve never said that. We love Showtime,” she explained. “Is that the place for us? We don’t know yet. We’re looking at a lot of different things.”

She said that there was still “a lot more to think about,” and concluded by stating, “we’ll see what the future brings.”

In the close of the interview Knapp was asked to comment on the upcoming Invict 6 card before she was let go. She enthusiastically answered, “I truly believe that this is going to be our best event yet. Ever.”

“You wont want to miss this card. I’m telling you, there are fights on this fight card that could be fights of the year,” she stated. “We plan to deliver on July 13th.”

Invicta 6 takes place on July 13th in Kansas City. The event will air on PPV and will also stream through the Invicta website. Check your local listings for times and details.

We would like to thank Miss Shannon Knapp for joining BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio and we wish her all the best with the upcoming Invicta 6 card.We look forward to hearing of more success from Knapp and her promotion in the near future.

For more exclusive MMA interviews click here and stay posted to BJPenn.com

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

 

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